99.9 percent support: All Germany in favor of Freiburg in the final against Leipzig
On the one hand a modest and authentic club with the most charismatic coach in the league, on the other hand a project that arose in sin and serves as an affiliate of a commercial concern.
R.B. Leipzig has almost no fans and all football fans in the country want their rival in the Cup final to win the first title in its history at its expense
Saturday, May 21, 2022, 3:00 p.m.
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Summary: Leipzig - Augsburg 0: 4 (Sport 1)
For big games, it is customary to produce merchandise details common to the two teams involved, and especially the halved scarves with their symbols and colors.
In the German Cup final this tradition will not apply this season, because Freiburg announced unequivocally, as early as the beginning of the month, that it is strictly forbidden to use its symbol next to that of its rival, RB Leipzig.
"Doing these things for the fans. If our fans are not interested in it, and there is no basis for cooperation, then it is irrelevant," Freiburg deputy chairman Oliver Kelly argued. How powerful her support was.
A few days after this announcement, Eintracht Frankfurt qualified for the Europa League final, and the happiness was immense, but as part of the celebrations, President Peter Fischer made sure to emphasize how happy he was with the result of the second semi-final, in which Rangers surprised the favorite Leipzig and prevented an all-German final.
"It's just great - a club with a tradition against a club with a tradition. It would be an honor to face such a rival," he exclaimed, and it was clear as day that he was not a specific fan of the Blue Club of Glasgow.
He would have received with the same enthusiasm Celtic, or in fact any other "normal" rival.
Just not Red Bull.
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It's not hard to understand what Bayern Munich fans think of RB Leipzig (Photo: GettyImages)
Leipzig is a red sheet and the aversion to it does not fade over time.
Quite the opposite - it is only intensifying because of the sporting and managerial success of the venture in which most German fans see a completely wrong phenomenon.
There is now a serious concern that she will pick up a bachelor’s degree in her short history, in a third Cup final in four years.
The Red Bulls were defeated 3-0 against Bayern Munich in 2019, and surrendered 4-1 to Dortmund in 2021, but tonight
are favorites against the modest team from the Black Forest that represents the real, rooted and right football against them.
Freiburg fans made sure to highlight these differences in a complete manifesto.
A fan club called Freiburg's Corilo Ultras posted a lengthy review of RB Leipzig's sins on its website on Wednesday.
"This is no ordinary rival. It is a game between opposites. On the one hand, a democratic and authentic club that is wholly owned by its members. On the other hand, a commercial branch bombed with money from an Austrian concern. RB Leipzig has established itself in German football, but that does not mean playing against it Become routine. It will never happen, "the authors said at the beginning of the article, after which the authors plunged into injustice in setting up the project, violating the bylaws, the way Red Bulls circumvented the bans by taking over a fifth league club where the bylaws were not valid, and also mentioned the murder. Performed for the original club in Salzburg who used to play in the purple uniform and reached the UEFA Cup final in 1994.
Could be European champion next week.
Konata (Photo: GettyImages, Chris Brunskill / Fantasista)
The thing is Survivor Bull is really doing things right.
She does not pour money on superstars, although financially she could afford particularly glittery signings as well.
Instead, it invests in great academies, nurturing anonymous players, raising young coaches who enjoy being part of a club built on a long-term strategy, a phenomenal network of scouts at every scale, and also preserving the stars over time so they become the club's face.
Hungarian goalkeeper Peter Gulashi and Swedish midfielder Emil Forsberg have been there since 2015 when the team was still in the second division, Danish striker Joseph Paulsen joined back in 2013 when Leipzig played in the third division.
There are also German stars who grew up there - stopper Willy Urban (who chose to represent the Hungarian team), defenders Marcel Halstenberg and Lucas Klosterman.
This concern located the Hungarian talent Dominik Suboslai, brought him to Salzburg at the age of 16 and upgraded him to a big star.
Red Bull took Christopher Anconco from the edge of the Paris Saint-Germain bench and made him a Bundesliga player of the season.
She also knows how to sell those who prefer to leave at the right price, and does not stand in their way - as evidenced by, for example, Nabi Keita and Ibrahima Konata who are currently starring in Liverpool.
She has also adapted an attractive style, usually presents sweeping offensive football, and gives fans a show on a weekly basis.
In short, if it was a "normal" club, he would have won very wide sympathy.
However, this is not a normal club, so all achievements do not give it even a small pinch of love.
Leipzig is a malfunction.
The facts in favor speak for themselves (Photo: GettyImages, Maja Hitij)
Everyone in Germany remembers very well that this is an artificial club that was not supposed to get a license at all, and even in the city of Leipzig itself it is very difficult to mobilize proper support.
The differences could be clearly seen in the travels of Frankfurt and Leipzig in the Europa League this season.
Eintracht fans filled the Camp Nou, flooded London in the semi-final against West Ham, and more than 100,000 traveled to Sevilla for the final - the vast majority without tickets.
Leipzig coach Domenico Tedesco, on the other hand, complained that the home stadium was not fully occupied in the semi-final against the Rangers, and barely a thousand fans flew to Glasgow from East Germany.
These two clubs cannot be compared.
For a regular German fan, RB Leipzig is a glitch, and the facts speak for themselves.
As this mishap approaches the title, the rage sharpens, but at times fans may feel cognitive dissonance.
Anyone who is not a fan of Bayern Munich hates her, and it will not be easy for him to wholeheartedly support her in the Cup final, even if she faces Leipzig.
Schalke fans despise Dortmund with such intense emotions that they will not be able to be in it under any circumstances.
"I feel bad physically when I see their yellow-black," a senior journalist (yes, a journalist) affiliated with Schalke once told me.
So he too does not tolerate the Red Bull project, but to be in favor of Borussia in the Cup final last year?
So far, we have exaggerated.
Over a decade in office.
Christian Streich (Photo: GettyImages)
This season no one has such a problem, because Freiburg has no haters and it does not arouse negative feelings in anyone.
It has no competition at all in the Black Forest, and if you want to find regional rivals by force, then you can mention Kressleroa, who long ago drowned in the second division, and Stuttgart, which is about 200 kilometers away.
This is really forced, because Stuttgart and Kressleroa have cultivated a real rivalry over time, and did not really treat Freiburg as a significant rival - it was only promoted to the top league in 1993.
There is no bad blood among these fans, and any Kressleroa fan will happily prefer Freiburg over Leipzig, not to mention that the club's graduate - the future brakeman of the team, Nico Schluterbeck - is the big young star on Freiburg's defense.
Schluterbeck, who will join Dortmund this summer, will be happy to give the team that gave him so much a perfect farewell gift with a trophy win, but also the very fact of qualifying for the class excites the whole forest, as it is the first final in the club's 118 years of existence.
This achievement is a kind of award for a lifetime achievement for so many.
Coach Christian Streich, perhaps the most revered figure in the entire league, was born in the area, played for the club, rejoined him in 1995 as a youth coach, previously as head coach in 2011 and has been in the job for more than a decade.
He works in perfect harmony with chairman Jochen Zaire and athletic director Clemens Hartenbach, who have been working in their positions since the turn of the millennium.
99.9 percent of football fans in Germany are behind them.
Freiburg Players (Photo: GettyImages, Christian Kaspar-Bartke)
Stability is the name of the game at a club run with one of the lowest budgets in the Bundesliga, about 40 million euros.
There is a family atmosphere there, and some players just never want to leave, even when generous financial offers flow in their direction.
Left-back and captain Christian Gunter was born in the area, admitted to the Freiburg Academy in 2006, and has been there ever since - thanks to which he even made the national team.
Contact Nicolas Hoffler has also been at the club since being admitted to the academy in 2005.
Together with Streich, they even once won the German Youth Cup, and now they have a chance to swing the real thing, at the end of a dreamy and brilliant season, during which Freiburg fought for a ticket to the Champions League, and was slightly disappointed when it finished "only" in sixth place.
This glorious season, during which she even said goodbye in tears from the mythical old stadium Dreizmstadion and moved to the new facility at the other end of town, Freiburg wants to end with a bachelor's degree in its history, and she knows that all of Germany is with her.
This is not an exaggeration - 99.9 percent of the country's football fans will support it.
After all, Leipzig itself has almost no fans.
In terms of sympathy, it will probably be the most one-sided final in the history of world football.